Turkish prime minister works hard to display tolerance
Jan 11, 2005
Early last month, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan presided over the opening of a new synagogue, mosque and church—the last partitioned into Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox sections—in the Mediterranean resort area of Belek.
It was a rather flamboyant gesture on Erdogan’s part, designed to convince skeptical Europeans that the secular but largely Muslim nation of nearly 70 million people practices a religious tolerance that makes it a worthy candidate for membership in the European Union. “Beyond its symbolic importance, this project gives the message of peace and brotherhood to the whole world,” Erdogan said at the ceremony.